Ever think you are just going out for a regular dinner and then end up being completely wowed? Well, that was my experience last night at Zoilo, an Argentinian tapas place that describes itself as ‘proudly embracing the cultural diversity’ of its country.
Instead of grabbing a seat at the bar for their tapas menu, we were guided downstairs to their ‘hidden dining room’ which you can book for about 10 people. If you want to enjoy this room, you need to order from a set menu. Our party had pre-chosen the small plates sharing menu at £42.95 each.
The menu kicks off with their house breads and smoked butter. My god, the brioche bread. The butter. I nearly died. It’s carb heaven come to life! I think I ate one of these platters all to myself. Carb shame, it’s real.
Next up on the menu is a cast iron skillet oozing with melted cheese. But not just any cheese, it was provoleta with almonds and oregano honey. You dig your spoon in and spread hot, melty cheese all over your bread. Try not to make orgasm noises, other diners might get weirded out by that.
After the decadence of the first two plates, there are two lighter dishes served up. First, the duck egg sitting on top of blood pudding and then the crab on toast. I am not a huge fan of dishes with fried eggs on top. They just don’t excite me at all.
On the other hand, the crab was light and refreshing. I definitely had more than my fair share of this!
I think the most interesting part of this meal is how much of a mix of ingredients they incorporate into the dishes, traditional Argentinian alongside an exploration of other regions. But don’t worry, with the sharing menu you’ll still get to experience the classic Argentinian steak. Next up on our meal was the grilled flank with celeriac, horseradish & bone marrow jus. The steak was cooked beautifully and served with a radicchio and pear salad.
At this point, you’ll have drunk a few glasses of very fine Argentinian wine and are probably about ready to take a nap under the table but let’s not forget dessert. Dulce de leche Crème Brûlée and “banana split” ice cream. I had to share this with my boyfriend and resented every minute of it… Oh not really, maybe just a little.
Lastly we got a few plates of these delightful traditional treats to share. Alfajores de maizena! Pillowy sweet cakes with a dulche de leche filling. Sadly I only managed one!
Zoilo isn’t cheap and we did end up paying a pretty penny for our meal, but it is excellent quality and we had a wonderful experience. I’d love to come back some time and in the meantime, I’ll be dreaming of that smoked butter.
Zoilo Cocina Argentina
9 Duke Street
London W1U 3EG
T: +44 (0) 20 7486 9699